Credit Card Fees

avoid credit card feesWhether it’s the annual fee, currency conversion costs or balance transfer fee, find out everything you need to know to avoid credit card fees in Australia and overseas.

Credit cards have a wide range of features and benefits, but also come with many different fees and charges. These costs quickly add up and can lead to serious credit card debt when they’re left unchecked.

The good news is that you can avoid most credit card fees if you’re aware of them. Here, we outline the most common credit card fees, how much they’re worth, and what you can do to stop or minimise their impact on your card.

Annual fees

Most credit cards charge an annual fee, which can cost as little as $20 or as much as $1,200. The more features and benefits a credit card has – such as a rewards program or complimentary travel insurance – the more likely it is to have a high annual fee.

Annual fees usually start when you first activate a card, and are then applied around the same date for every year you have the card. Some cards also waive this fee in the first year, so be sure to check the ongoing rates and fees before you apply.

How to avoid it: If you take advantage of credit card perks, you could find that the value they offer outweighs the cost of the annual fee. Otherwise, you should consider a card that offers a lower fee or one that charges no annual fee for life.

How Alex avoided annual fees.

Alex currently pays an annual fee of $199 for her platinum rewards credit card. While she earns 1 point per $1 spent on the card, she only spends about $12,000 per year. This is just enough points to get a $100 gift card, which means Alex is paying $99 more for the card than what she gets from the benefits.

By switching to a no annual fee rewards credit card, such as the American Express Qantas Discovery or Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard, Alex can save between $99 and $199 on the card and still get rewards.

Compare no annual fee credit cards

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016.

Coles Platinum No Annual Fee MasterCard

New offer of 10,000 bonus points on sign up. Offer ends 30 September 2016.

September 1st, 2016

Commonwealth Bank Business Platinum Awards credit card

First year annual fee waiver has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 2nd, 2016

ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate changed from 9.99% p.a. to 11.99% p.a. on purchases, balance transfers and cash advanc

September 19th, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Annual fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.)
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
$0 p.a. 14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day credit card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, an introductory purchase rate of 1% p.a. for up to 12 months, plus a waived annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive $200 back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Also enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) 19.74% p.a. Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
A low interest rate on purchases and cash advances with $0 annual fee for the life of the card.
$0 p.a. 11.99% p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
$149 p.a. 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
No annual fee credit card with $100 cashback and a long term low rate balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee. Spend criteria applies for cashback offer.
$0 p.a. 18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee Go to site More info
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
Earn 10,000 bonus points, 1 flybuys point per $2 spent and enjoy no annual fee for the life of the card.
$0 p.a. 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum benefits offering complimentary insurances, 24/7 concierge, balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, purchase rate offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with $0 annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
Earn up to 7,500 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points, plus take advantage of no annual fee for the life of the card. Earn 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spend.
$0 p.a. 20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum card benefits with $0 annual fee in the first year and complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) 19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No annual fee for life, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
$0 p.a. 21.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee.
$0 p.a. 20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee Go to site More info
ANZ First Student Card
An ideal credit card for students with 44 days interest-free on purchases with $0 annual fee in the first year. Access your account on the go with the goMoney™ app.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) 19.74% p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Pay no annual fee to ever, plus receive access to complimentary purchase insurance and the Citibank Dining Program.
$0 p.a. 11.99% p.a. for 24 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) Go to site More info
Coles Platinum No Annual Fee MasterCard
Receive 10,000 bonus points on sign-up and enjoy a low balance transfer offer, no annual fee ever with 24/7 platinum concierge service.
$0 p.a. 19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months Go to site More info
Commonwealth Bank Business Platinum Awards credit card
Earn up to 3 Awards points per dollar spent, enjoy complimentary insurances and $0 annual fee for the first year.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($300 p.a. thereafter) 20.74% p.a. Go to site More info

Interest

Credit cards charge interest when you carry a balance. The amount you pay is based on a percentage of your balance. This percentage is represented by an annual rate, such as 19.99% p.a., but is calculated daily and charged monthly. Depending on your card, you could have any or all of the following interest rates applied to your balance:

  • Purchase rate. This is the interest rate charged for new purchases made on the card and can be anywhere from 10% p.a. to 22% p.a. (variable).
  • Cash advance rate. This is the interest rate applied for cash advance transactions, such as ATM withdrawals. It is usually between 19% p.a. and 22% p.a. (variable).
  • Balance transfer rate. This is the interest rate applied to any balance you have moved from an old card to the current card. If you get a balance transfer credit card, you will usually pay a low or 0% promotional rate for the introductory period. Standard balance transfer rates (after the intro period) are usually based on the card’s cash advance or purchase rate and can be as high as 22% p.a. (variable).
  • Promotional interest rate. This interest rate is usually offered to new cardholders for a set period of time, such as the first 12 months. If you’re looking at getting a card with a promotional interest rate for purchases or balance transfers, make sure you also check the standard interest rate that’s applied.

How to avoid it: If you pay your balance in full by the due date on your statement, you won’t be charged interest. But if you do carry a balance, aim to pay more than the minimum each month or choose a card that has a low ongoing interest rate, or a 0% promotional interest rate. These strategies will help you keep costs down, at least in the short term.

Thien's interest savings.

Thien has a credit card with a $5,000 balance and an interest rate of 19.99% p.a. (variable). If he only makes minimum payments on this card, he will be charged around $955 in interest for the year.

If Thien switches to a card that offers a low ongoing interest rate of 12.99% p.a., he could save around $354 in interest over the course of the year. He could save even more money by making larger repayments. He would also be able to avoid interest charges completely if he transferred the debt to a 0% balance transfer card and paid it off before the end of the introductory period.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016.

NAB Low Fee Card

Balance transfer and purchase rate offer has been extended until 2 October 2016.

August 9th, 2016

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer and purchase rate offers have been extended until 2 October 2016.

August 9th, 2016

Citi Clear Platinum Card

Balance transfer and purchase offers have been extended.

September 1st, 2016

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Jonathan Choi Jonathan
$
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period Interest Saved
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Exclusive Offers to finder.com.au

Enjoy 0% p.a. for the first 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for the first 3 on purchases.

0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $30 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Earn Velocity Rewards points with your purchases and pay no interest with 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases and 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 6 months $129 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day credit card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, an introductory purchase rate of 1% p.a. for up to 12 months, plus a waived annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from Premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, higher credit limits and VIP Lost Card Cover. 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months and 20,000 bonus Velocity Points when you make an everyday purchase in the first 90 days of opening your account. You gain both Visa and American Express cards which are linked to one single account and annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $150 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
This card offers a 10,000 bonus Velocity Points plus a low interest rate of 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $95 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points plus enjoy a low promotional offer of 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $250 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
Enjoy an introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases, plus 10,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $95 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB flybuys Rewards Card
Earn flybuys rewards points on your everyday purchases. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $95 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A low rate platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 9 months $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum benefits offering complimentary insurances, 24/7 concierge, balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, purchase rate offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with $0 annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info

Balance transfer fees

Some balance transfer credit cards charge a fee for moving your existing debt from a current card to the new account. Balance transfer fees (also known as balance transfer processing or administration charges) are usually between 1% and 3% of the total debt you move, which quickly adds up if you have thousands of dollars of debt.

How to avoid it: Compare balance transfer credit cards and look for options that don’t charge a balance transfer fee. Remember, the fee should be listed in the “Fees” section for any card you consider. You can also find out the fee by looking at a card’s Key Fact Sheet or Product Disclosure Statement.

Move your debt and save like Miranda.

Miranda has seen a balance transfer credit card that offers 0% interest for 12 months and charges a 2.5% balance transfer fee. She has a $6,000 debt she wants to move, but would have to pay $150 for the transfer fee if she got this new credit card. Instead of applying, Miranda compares a range of balance transfer options and finds a different card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. This means she can transfer her debt, save money on the process and pay off her balance faster.

Compare credit cards with no balance transfer fee

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016.

HSBC Platinum Credit Card

$0 annual fee + 0% for 15 months on balance transfers offer extended until 31 December 2016

September 1st, 2016

Citi Clear Platinum Card

Balance transfer and purchase offers have been extended.

September 1st, 2016

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

Balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 26th, 2016

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Jonathan Choi Jonathan
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% p.a.

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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
0% p.a. for 15 months 19.99% p.a. $149 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Take advantage of this exclusive offer and enjoy 0% p.a. for the first 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for the first 3 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months 0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum benefits offering complimentary insurances, 24/7 concierge, balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, purchase rate offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with $0 annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
0% p.a. for 16 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
0% p.a. for 20 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A low rate platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months 0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Enjoy 0% balance transfer rate for 20 months and 1% purchase rate for 12 months if you apply and are approved by 29 September 2016.
0% p.a. for 20 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Emirates Citi World MasterCard
Enjoy up to 10% off Emirates flights on your first spend when you book before 31 December 2016. Also pay a reduced annual fee for the first year.
0% p.a. for 9 months 20.99% p.a. $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Visa
A low interest rate card with a low annual fee, a long term balance transfer offer and an introductory offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. interest for 20 months and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases combined with complimentary insurance covers.
0% p.a. for 20 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Platinum
This card features a balance transfer rate of 12% p.a. for 18 months, 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases and an annual fee waiver for the first year.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.49% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Receive 30,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn 1 Velocity Points per $1 spent. Receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary Single Entry Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year.
0% p.a. for 6 months 20.74% p.a. $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

Foreign transaction fees

Most credit and debit cards apply a foreign transaction fee when you use your card overseas or when you shop online with an international merchant. This charge – also known as an “international transaction fee” or “currency conversion fee” – is usually between 1% and 3.5% of the total transaction.

How to avoid it: Look for a credit card that doesn’t apply a foreign transaction fee, such as the 28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard or any platinum Bankwest credit card. You could also consider a prepaid travel card that lets you load and use funds in several currencies, cash, traveller’s cheques or a combination of travel money options that can help reduce the fees you pay when you’re overseas or shopping online.

How Jai saved on transaction fees on holiday.

Jai has just got back from a trip to Brazil, where he spent $3,000 on his credit card. He checks his statement and sees that a 3% foreign transaction fee was applied each time he used the card, adding $90 to his total bill. While Jai has to pay the fees this time, he decides to shop around for a card with no foreign transaction fee so that he saves money on all his future trips.

Compare no foreign currency exchange credit cards

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
Complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 concierge service and $0 foreign transaction fees.
0% of transaction value $0 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
0% of transaction value $0 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
0% of transaction value $225 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Rewards Mastercard
Earn 2 flybuys point for every $1 spent and no foreign transaction fees for online purchases and overseas trips.
0% of transaction value $4 $89 p.a. Go to site More info

Cash advance fees

This fee is charged for “cash advance” transactions, including when you withdraw money from an ATM, buy foreign currency or pay with plastic whilst gambling. In these instances, you’ll be charged between 2% and 3.5% of the total transaction. Some cards also have a minimum cash advance fee of between $20 and $35. But this isn’t the only cost for using your credit card for cash transactions: you’ll also be charged the cash advance rate of interest from the day the transaction is made.

How to avoid it: Don’t use your credit card to get cash out. Avoid using it to buy foreign currency or for transactions in a casino. Also check with your credit card provider about other transactions where this fee applies and steer clear of them. If you need to get cash at any time, use a debit card or set up a savings account so you will have cash if you need it in an emergency.

Valentina's cash advance mistake.

Valentina has run out of cash at a music festival. She isn’t sure of the balance of her everyday transaction account, so she withdraws $1,000 using her credit card. When she gets her next statement, she sees she has been charged a 3% fee worth $30. The cash advance interest rate of 21.99% p.a. has also been charged for 20 days, totalling $12, which means Valentina has paid $42 for using her credit card. In the future, she decides to keep more cash on hand and make sure she has some available on her debit card to avoid these fees.

Compare low cash advance credit cards

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016.

ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate changed from 9.99% p.a. to 11.99% p.a. on purchases, balance transfers and cash advanc

September 19th, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Cash advance rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. 11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Value+ Credit Card
Enjoy a competitive annual fee and interest rates on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
11.49% p.a. 11.49% p.a. $49 p.a. Go to site More info

Late payment fees

If you don’t make a payment on your credit card by the due date on your statement, you could be charged a late payment fee worth anywhere from $0 to $30. Some providers charge this straight away, while others may not apply a late fee unless they have to contact you to make a payment. Note that even if a late fee is not charged, other penalties could apply and it may affect your credit history.

How to avoid it: Always make payments before the due date on your statement, and make sure you factor in processing times for the payment method you choose. You may even want to set up an automatic payment from your transaction account so that you always meet this deadline. It’s also a good idea to check your credit card Product Disclosure Statement for terms and conditions around late payments so that you know exactly how much you will pay and what else could apply.

Over limit fees

You could be charged an “over limit fee” if you max out your credit card in a statement period. Not all credit card companies apply this charge, but if they do it could be anywhere from $5 to $35 extra.

How to avoid it: Regularly check your credit card balance so that you know what your “available credit limit” is when using the card. If you regularly get close to going over the limit, you may also want to consider requesting a credit limit increase.

List of bank’s late and over limit fees

Reward program fees

Some rewards credit cards charge an annual fee for choosing a particular rewards program. Usually this only applies to cards that give you a choice between standard rewards and Qantas rewards, such as the Citi Qantas Rewards program that you can opt into with a Citi Rewards card. This fee is usually between $30 and $50 and applies on top of the card’s annual fee.

How to avoid it: Carefully read the terms and conditions of any rewards program you’re considering. If a fee is charged for opting to earn Qantas rewards, make sure the value of the card will outweigh this cost (and the annual fee). You may also want to consider a Qantas frequent flyer card that doesn’t charge a reward program fee.

How Antony got the most out of his rewards credit card.

Antony has opted to earn Qantas rewards on his current credit card, at a rate of 1 point per $1 spent. He pays an extra $30 per year for the program, along with an annual fee of $200. He decides to switch to the NAB Qantas Rewards card, which has an annual fee of $95 and offers 0.5 points per $1 spent on a Visa and 1 point per $1 spent on an American Express card linked to the account. This saves him $135 a year, while also giving him the opportunity to earn just as many points.

Compare reward program credit cards

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016.

Commonwealth Bank Business Platinum Awards credit card

First year annual fee waiver has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 2nd, 2016

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

Balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 26th, 2016

Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer

Balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 October 2016.

September 26th, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Annual fee
ANZ Rewards Platinum
ANZ Rewards Platinum
50,000 bonus points 1 2 $95 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
70,000 bonus points 1 0 $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0.66 0 $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
1 0 $149 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
60,000 bonus points 1 0 $199 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
10,000 bonus points 0 1 $195 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points 2 $395 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0.66 0 $129 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points 0 1 $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card
1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
50,000 bonus points 0.5 1.5 $295 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
1 2 $225 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
75,000 bonus points 1.25 3 $375 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
75,000 bonus points 0.75 1.5 $425 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
30,000 bonus points 1 0 $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
7,500 bonus points 0 1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Classic Card
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Classic Card
1 0 $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card
7,500 bonus points 0 1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Business Black
ANZ Business Black
50,000 bonus points 1 $450 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
American Express Qantas Premium Card
30,000 bonus points 0 1 $249 p.a. Go to site More info

Credit card surcharges

This fee is actually charged by businesses rather than your credit card provider. Credit card surcharges are usually between 0.8% and 3% of the total transaction cost, but some merchants apply a flat fee that could be much higher (such as airlines).

How to avoid it: You can avoid this fee by having another payment option available – such as a debit card, cash, direct transfer or by using a service such as POLi or PayPal. Remember that all merchants legally have to notify you of a surcharge before you make a payment. It’s also important to note that the regulations around surcharges have recently changed, so the cost should be reduced if and when you do have to deal with this cost.

Other credit card fees

These credit card fees are less common, but it’s still good to know when they may apply and how you can avoid them.

  • Chargeback fee. If you need to reverse a credit card transaction through your credit card provider, you could be charged a fee of around $10–25. You can avoid this fee by trying to get a refund with the merchant before going to your credit card provider.
  • Card replacement fees. Most credit card companies don’t charge a fee if you need a replacement card in Australia. But for fast-tracking or overseas replacements, you could pay anywhere from $30 to $200 for the service. Check with your credit card company to find out about these costs, and have a backup payment option so that you don’t need to speed up the process of getting a new card if yours is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Additional cardholder fee. Some credit cards charge an annual fee when you request an additional or supplementary cardholder for your account, usually around $5 to $35. If you know you want to share your account with a partner or family member, make sure you check for this fee, as there are many cards that don’t charge it.
  • Paper statement fee. Some credit card companies will charge you a fee if you request paper statements for your account. Usually this will be around $5 to $10, but you can avoid it by opting for paperless statements delivered to your email or via Internet banking.
  • Non-bank ATM fee. If you use your credit card to withdraw cash or check your balance at an ATM outside of your credit card provider’s network, you could be charged a fee of up to $5. There may also be additional charges from the ATM operator, so avoid getting cash out and check your balance via Internet or mobile banking instead.

While credit cards come with many different benefits, they often have just as many fees. But now that you know more about these charges, you can make informed decisions about how and when you pay with plastic to avoid them and keep your card working for you.

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American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate

11.99

Annual fee

0
More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149
More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

30
More info
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2 Responses to Credit Card Fees

  1. Default Gravatar
    Leanne | April 14, 2013

    I’ve recently switched credit card providers and was shocked when they charged me a cash advance fee for buying a lotto ticket online at tatts.com.au, and then interest on the cash advance fee! Their answer is that website is considered a gambling website and they will charge me extra fees for gambling online. I’ve never gambled, I always pay off my balance in full each month and never get charged any interest or extra fees until now. Can you recommend a credit card that wouldn’t charge me extra for buying a lotto ticket online? Thank you.

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 15, 2013

      Hi Leanne. Thanks for your question. Please see this page for an answer to your question. It depends on the provider as to whether the transactions is treated as a purchase or a cash advance – some providers don’t allow these types of transactions at all. Hope this has helped, let us know if you have any further questions. Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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